January 2015 - If Your Eye Is Simple

In the world, man orients himself and finds his way thanks to his eyes. The principal function of sight is not restricted to the material domain, but extends into the spiritual domain. Regarding the matters of the soul, sight plays also a central role. Thanks to sight, which enables him to perceive admirable things, man can know and love.

On the other hand, sight does not allow man to see himself as he is: nobody sees himself. In order to compensate for this physical impossibility, human cleverness has recourse to a set of mirrors. The effects of this recourse remain however limited, because the mirror is far from a faithful friend; it deforms always and gives only an incomplete idea of reality. Thus, when he looks in a mirror, man does not see himself as he actually is, but as the illusion which is the mirror’s reflection. This is why frequently, when a man sees himself in a photo, he is surprised and cannot recognize himself in what he sees.

This phenomenon of distortion is also found in the spiritual order. Indeed, in the spiritual order as in the material order, sight belongs to man to see what is around him, not to look upon himself. Spiritual sight does not turn back upon self.

This spiritual vision especially makes it possible to notice we are being gazed upon tirelessly by One who hopes to one day finally exchange a glance with us in order to enter into an intimate communication.

Couldn’t we affirm that all started with a look: “And God saw that it was good”? All continues with a look, that of the Virgin attentive to the needs of her human brethren, inviting her Son in Cana to begin His public life; beyond words that seem to us abrupt, the Virgin and Christ understood each other by exchanging a look which penetrates into the depths of the soul: “Do everything that He will tell you”.

A look that, later, will in vain call Judas to repentance, a look that will convert Peter and rest on Mary and John to give her as Mother.

Still a look resting on that rich young man who leaves with bowed head, while Magdalene, among the worst of sinners, accepted that look and her life was wholly changed.

A look that is not that of a time already past, because it is the regard of God – a sight that continues to rest on every son of man, always hoping that, thanks to this exchange of looks, man will answer the invitation to enter into the intimacy of the divine Heart.

How is it that man only seldom seizes this divine Love, which never leaves him out of His sight?

Would it not be because the human eye is not simple? At least, it is not any more since Adam, turning away from God, looked at himself, taking pleasure in his own will to the contempt of God’s will.

The regard turned upon oneself is unhealthy and introspection is always a morbid attitude which, far from leading to a true self-knowledge, prevents man from contemplating God and His works; particularly that of His mercy regarding man.

The devil knows this and all his effort consist in the attempt to make man turn in on himself.

The look of the soul must be one of contemplation and not of introspection, resting upon God and His works, admiring and wanting to embrace this saving will which invites him to get out of himself to adhere more closely to God’s love.

The recipe appears to be very simple. The soul contemplates God firstly and primarily in prayer. There it discovers the greatness of God and forgets itself. Thus the soul learns how to unite itself imperceptibly with God’s wholly merciful designs, understanding that God, beyond human agitations, leads the world and soul and makes everything turn to His glory, the ultimate manifestation of His love.

The soul lives, thus, by faith, hope and charity, which are as the eyes of the soul allowing it to see God, the world and others. The soul sees God, the world and other beings under another light, that of God. All becomes a motive for joy because the soul finds God there. Life becomes nothing else but one long regard that rises and seeks to take hold of the divine regard. The Christian life is nothing else but this prolonged exchange of looks, silent and deep.

When man raises his gaze from the natural level and from himself himself, at the supernatural level he is astonished at being the object of such a love, adores it and gives himself to it by indefatigably repeating the Fiat of his Mother to the least desires of her Son.

“If your eye is simple, you will always do all that He will tell you”.

In Christo sacerdote et Maria.

Fr. Yves le Roux